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Domestic Contracts

Marriage Contract

Marriage contract is an arrangement between two persons who are married or who intend to marry and usually deals with the following:

  1. Property ownership and division of such;
  2. Support obligations;
  3. Any other matters.

Marriage contract may not:

  1. Deal with child custody or access rights;
  2. Purport to limit a spouse’s rights to possession of the matrimonial home under part II of the Family Law Act.

Cohabitation Agreements

This is an agreement between two persons who are not married, if they do marry the cohabitation agreement becomes a marriage agreement.

A cohabitation agreement usually deals with the following:

  1. Property ownership and division of such;
  2. Support obligations;
  3. Any other matters.

Cohabitation agreement may not:

  1. Deal with child custody or access rights;

Separation Agreement

A separation agreement is an agreement between two persons who have either cohabited or have been married in which they agree on their respective rights and obligations including:

  1. Property ownership and division.
  2. Support obligations.
  3. Child custody and access rights.
  4. Any other matter with regard to the settlement of their affairs.

Some of the things the parties to a separation agreement should think about are:

  1. Custody and Access or Parenting.
  2. Child Support.
  3. Spousal Support.
  4. Life Insurance.
  5. Matrimonial Home.
  6. Health Insurance.
  7. Other Property.
  8. Dispute Resolutions.

 

Limitations of Domestic Contracts.

 

  • Section 56 of the Family Law Act sets some limitations on the parties to the contract and give the court the right to change them:
  1. Any provisions of a domestic contract dealing with custody or access of a child may be disregarded by the court if they are not in the best interest of the child.
  2. Any child support provisions may be disregarded by the court if it is unreasonable having regard to the child support guidelines.
  3. Any provision that stipulates they any right of a party is dependent upon his or her remaining chaste is unreasonable, however, provisions tied to remarriage or cohabitation are enforceable.
  • Section 56 (4) of the Family Law Act further stats that the court may set aside a domestic contract or part of it if:
  1. One party failed to disclose to the other significant assets or debts existing when the domestic contract was made.
  2. If one part did not understand the nature of the domestic contract.
  3. For other reasons that are in accordance with the law of contracts.